Are There Such Things as Masculine and Feminine Music – Coursework Example

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Are There Such Things as Masculine and Feminine Music" is a great example of music coursework.   Many scholars have examined music as communication or sociological force which acts to persuade and socialize people. The powerful impact of music is reflected in the popular song lyrics and tonal music and the relationship between the two (Leonard, 2007). Popular song lyrics are a reflection of realistic experiences in a clear, simple and unified manner (Jorgensen, 2003). Tonal music elicits emotional responses which have an influence on an individual’ s judgment and hence it facilitates the unconscious or subliminal acceptance of verbal messages presented in song lyrics. Music is characterized by two opposing groups of features which try to illustrate either feminism or masculinity (Bruscia and Grocke, 2002).

On one extreme end is the decisive one in freshness and energy. It is constructed more energetically, more completely and more vigorously. It is more dominant and decisive. This describes attributes associated with masculine music (Biddle and Gibson, 2009). On the other hand, the other extreme is a subsidiary theme which serves as a contrast, constructed and determined by the preceding.

It is gentler, cultivated and more flexible (Friedmann, 2009). These attributes describe feminine music. For instance, sonata form is laid out with a strong, characteristic that represents the masculine principle and a contrasting lyrical, gentle theme that represents feminine theme which has a different but related tonality (Leonard, 2007). Thus masculine music is characterized by force and energy, concision and clarity. It imposes itself in brusque rhythms and affirms its tonal ownership nobly. On the other hand, feminine music is entirely gentle and of melodic grace.

It is almost always affective by means of its verbosity and modulatory vagueness of the eminently alluring feminine supple and elegant. The curves of its ornamented melody are spread out progressively and it is circumscribed clearly in a neighbouring tonality that is occupied by the dominant masculine element. Sex has been seen in music by psychoanalysts. It is asserted that if the tones of the scale are arranged in an order which corresponds to the number of fifths they are removed from f, hence the smaller the order number the more masculine the character of the tone will be.

It has been established that the smaller the ratio symbol of the tone the greater the relative restfulness or stability. Masculinity has been identified with restfulness and stability (Leonard, 2007). In ancient china, sex qualities were also seen in music. For instance, the Lin Lun system had ‘ lu’ as a masculine family of scale notes while the ‘ lui’ represented the feminine notes. It has thus been argued that musicians ought to present their audiences with music characteristic of the audiences’ mentality, that is, with masculine music if the audience has a masculine mind and feminine music if the audience has the feminine mentality. Heavy metal music has been described as a masculine genre.

Male gender is the dominant one in the heavy metal community (Bruscia and Grocke, 2002). It is characterized by the slam dancing in which men and women with feminine features cannot survive unless they leave behind their vulnerability. It is a piece of aggressive, transgressive and shocking music meant for masculine gender (Biddle and Gibson, 2009). Heavy metal music has misogyny as part of the macho posturing and a sign of the essential insecurity of the musicians’ position (Litti, 2006).

In this music, the strength of the male bonding is seen to be contingent on the lack of romantic concerns which is believed to be capable of disrupting its strength (Leonard, 2007). Some metal lyrics are about the dangers of being emasculated by the romance of women. The community created by male bonding and homo-sociality is brotherhood. This genre of music sees women as subversive and dangerous. In spite of this, the brotherhood of metal embraces some feminine features such as subversive and dangerous within the dualism of binary thinking such as disturbed, evil, irrational and dangerous (Bruscia and Grocke, 2002).

The metal music is angry music that is harder and heavier than the rock which emphasizes the dark side and offers the opportunity to release the violent drives that have been suppressed by the norms of the mainstream society which rails against injustice (Litti, 2006). Some of the heavy metal elements which support these sentiments include loud distortions, violent lyrics and gunfire like percussion.


Biddle, I., and Gibson, K. 2009. Masculinity and western musical practice. London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Bruscia, K., and Grocke, D. 2002. Guided Imagery and Music: The Bonny Method and Beyond. Barcelona: Barcelona Publishers.

Friedmann, J. 2009. Perspectives on Jewish music: secular and sacred. New York: Rowman & Littlefield

Jorgensen, E. 2003. Transforming music education. Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Leonard, M. 2007. Gender in the music industry: rock, discourse and girl power. London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Litti, S. 2006. The feminine in German song. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Norton, B. 2009. Songs for the spirit: music and mediums in modern Vietnam. Illinois: University of Illinois Press

Wright, R. 2010. Sociology and Music Education. London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us